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Readers Dream Up a Wife for Lucius Felton

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In the months before Much Ado About You was published, Eloisa ran a contest on this website asking readers, who had first met Lucius Felton in the novella A Fool Again, featured in the Anthology The One that Got Away, to describe the kind of woman he ought to meet, love, and marry. Some of the entries were so fantastic — thoughtful, creative and intuitive — that she was truly sorry to have already written Much Ado, and been unable to take advice about Lucius’s wife. With the authors’ permission, here are the four winning entries.

Jennifer from Dallas:

Mr. Felton deserves …a woman who can bring him to life. I sense there is a fascinating man underneath the starched-shirt we saw in A Fool Again. I think he has great potential–there is passion and verve simmering under that cool facade and I think there is some (lucky) hoydenish miss out there who can cause our reserved Mr. Felton to crackle to life.

I think he can love, and love deeply; and the woman who can bring the greatest joy must be a challenge to him. He can’t have an easy time of it–nothing so easy as marrying his dead partner’s wife. He needs a Beatrice; although, I daresay, he’s nothing like Benedick in temperament–no histrionics there. (Although there was that kissing episode in A Fool Again. Perhaps he does have a little performer in him…)

Carolyn from Philadelphia:

Lucius Felton seems like a man who would be a protector, and a down & dirty & dangerous one if need be. He should fall for a young woman who gets through his aloof façade – one who arouses all of his protective instincts, even if it’s against his will. His dubious respectability, his sometimes shady dealings would provide him with contacts from the seamier side of society – contacts that he could use in helping her. The young woman should be in dire & desperate straits; but she must not be an adorable ninny, like Genevieve. His lady must be strong & sensible, just desperate & powerless.

Bonnie from East Greenbush:

What do we know about Mr. Felton? He is passionate about horses, but denies he’s capable of love. He is very rich, but has some shady business dealings. He is a patron of the arts, but rarely expresses any deep emotions. He is an opportunist, but honorable (e.g. letting Tobias win Genevieve). He’s also being chased by marriage-minded debutantes and their mothers.

So who would make the perfect wife for Lucius? I think a woman who is an innocent and somewhat naïve, to help heal whatever hidden wounds Mr. Felton is afraid to show. She may be poor and therefore he believes her interest is strictly financial. And I think she’ll have to be spunky, someone who’ll be able to not take him too seriously and challenge his calm, controlled demeanor. It wouldn’t hurt if she were afraid of horses, too! Lucius could have an interesting time teaching her about his passion for horses while discovering his passion for her.

Danielle from Indianapolis:

Every girl carries memories of that one perfect boy in high school. You know, the captain of the football, basketball, and swim team. The one who was not only athletic, but also intelligent, witty, and ….well…hot. He tended to be worshipped by men and women alike. He was elusive and utterly unattainable. There was nothing and no one that he couldn’t have, and he knew it. A man who is adored by all can easily be ruined.

It seems to me that Lucius needs a woman who is not impressed with him. Oh she knows he’s incredibly handsome and intelligent, but good looks and a clever tongue are not going to win her heart. She wants a man with integrity. I have no doubt that Lucius possesses great character. He just doesn’t let anyone get close enough to him to see it.

The woman Lucius needs doesn’t necessarily have to be beautiful in the way that Esme Rawlings (who is probably my favorite character with Sophie York Foakes trailing closely behind) is. What she does need is an innate ability to read people. Lucius strikes me as the type who does not like to wear emotion of any kind on his sleeve. He is very controlled. A woman who could read him like a book would throw him off guard and make him feel a little vulnerable. She also must amuse him. Lucius is a man in dire need of laughter. His woman may not intend to be funny, but he still needs to find her so. My father and stepmother have been married for nearly twelve years. I know that the bible says “love covers a multitude of sins” but I think that laughter covers a manifold of follies. A couple that can laugh together is a beautiful thing.

She must also be affected by his touch. She needs to desire him even if she doesn’t wish to. Even if she is afraid to risk her heart she needs to want him. Do you know why a woman can have any man she wants if she puts her mind to it (provided he is not in love with someone else or gay)? Because she learns how to cater to his ego. That’s not to say that she turns into doormat or spends the day worshipping him for his greatness. But she makes him feel needed. He feels good about himself when he’s with her.

Isn’t it a glorious irony that Cupid is always painted as a naked baby with those cute, little arrows? A more accurate depiction would be an ogre with a toothy grin and Thor’s Mjollnir.

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